My friend Ericca passed on some books her children weren’t reading anymore. There were a lot of horse books, including a series of chapter books, each one about a different horse. We started there, since Avery is really interested in horses right now.
Unfortunately, that series just didn’t hold either of our attention. The Breyer Stablemates books were written too simplistically and worse yet, since they weren’t all by the same author, the quality of the writing was noticeably variable. The books looked pretty but the story seemed thrown together. We stopped reading those before we finished all of them.
Next, we tried “The Puppy Place” series by Ellen Miles. Now that’s more like it!
Each book centers around a foster puppy of the Peterson family. The books are named after the puppy, which is motivating for Avery because she likes sounding out the puppies’ names. The Petersons find a new foster puppy, spend time teaching that puppy the things it needs to be a good pet to someone and then find the puppy a perfect home.
Occasionally the story is about two puppies, such as “Chewy and Chica,” brother and sister chihuahua pups. Or a puppy bonded with another animal, such as “Maggie and Max,” a puppy and her best friend kitten. I can’t wait to read about “Fluffy and Freckles,” the puppy and lamb pair!
And when I say I can’t wait to read it, I really do mean it. The writing in these books is good. The stories are interesting. Plus my daughter loves them so much, how could I not?
One of the things I love the most about “The Puppy Place” series is finding out what home each puppy will end up at. Skipper was adopted by the owner of a bookstore and spends her days at the store. Rascal, an overenergetic Jack Russell terrier, is adopted by the owner of a stable, so he has lots of room to run. Honey, a patient golden retriever is adopted by a boy in a wheelchair and the plan is for her to eventually become trained as his service dog.
We’ve quickly read almost all of the nine books my friend shared with us. Only one more to go! But we want more. According to the author’s website, there are 61 of these books with plans for three more in stores this year.
Fortunately, our local library has many more of the puppy books in this series. Also exciting, it has a few “Kitty Corner” books by the same author. The kitty books follow the same format as the puppy books, with a different family fostering the kitties. There’s also a nonfiction book for each, “Guide to Kittens” and “Guide to Puppies.”
If you’re looking for some children’s chapter books, these are good ones to try. Especially if, like my daughter, your children love puppies and pets in general.